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Thursday, February 14, 2008

I Love Old Crappy Looking Cards

Unfortunately I was too busy to do a Valentine's Day post where I wax poetic about my man-crush on Mark Teixeira or showed the mutant batting helmet card of Ellis Valentine, but I still got a nice Valentine's card in the mail today.

Here's another great old Tipton for my pre-war collection, this time of Hall of Famer Rabbit Maranville. The R327 Diamond Stars set from National Chicle is one of my all-time favorites. I already had 4 of the 8 cards for my Braves team set, but other than common card Shanty Hogan, all the rest of them were going to be tough to find. Two of them are from the tough 1936 high series, Hall of Famer Al Lopez and Wally Berger who also happens to be the last card in the set. I didn't think this card would be in my collection anytime soon either, but one popped up on eBay in my price range.

Ok, it's been around the block a few times, but it's a pre-war Hall of Famer and a Brave to boot. It's not even my worst looking Diamond Star card, you can take a look at that in my 12 Days of Cardmas Post. There's a couple of heavy creases, the corners have gone beyond rounded to annihilated, and it's kind of grimy looking. That just shows that this card worked for a living, much like Rabbit himself. Rabbit is usually the first name to pop up in stat-nerd discussions on who should be booted out of the Hall of Fame. I don't really blame them, he's easily one of the lousiest hitters in the Hall, but stats can't effectively capture his fielding prowess and leadership. Plus he was one of the great practical jokers of the era, which adds points in my book.

The back of the card gives tips on how to be part of an effective double play combination. Rabbit was part of a very effective DP combo in 1914 as he paired up with fellow Hall member Johnny Evers to lead the Bravos to their Miracle championship. This card is from 1935 though, which had the Braves finishing up with one of the worst records of all time: 38 wins, 115 losses. Johnny missed the '34 season with a badly broken leg and he never really came back from the injury. 1935 would be his last in the majors although he went on to have some success in the minor leagues. I didn't have a card of Rabbit from his playing days, the oldest ones I had were from the Fleer and Bazooka legends sets of the early '60s. I'm lucky to have found this card as his Goudey issues are tough, especially the 1935 Goudey card which he shares with some guy named Babe. Here's another cool thing about this card:

Hmmm. A certain company (who is still banned, they get special dispensation just this once) copied the backgrounds very closely for their '07 set didn't they? Now you know why I'm such a fan of the set.


Dinged Corners said...

This is fascinating. I need to know more.

dayf said...

Ask and ye shall receive. Just, um, what did you want to know more about?